When it was them entering the school gates for their first day of Grade 1, you were the nervous ones. But now, as they approach the much bigger gates of universities and tertiary institutions, roles have reversed and now they’re the ones wanting to keep a hold of your hands. Whether it’s a big historical sandstone campus or an inner-city sanctuary, students will always be nervous for the first day of university. One thing designed to help battle the “I have no idea where my class is” or the “Am I in the right lecture” freak-outs, is encouraging students to attend O-Week.
While as parents, the thought of O-Week might spark frightening visions of partying and fun, O-Week is a fantastic tool for students to be university ready. It might mean taking a tour of the campus and making themselves familiar with the buildings they’ll have their lectures in or it might mean scoping out all the food outlets for the perfect lunch. Either way, it’s important for students to attend so that when the real day for classes comes, the big gates don’t seem as big anymore.
There are always lots of events and sessions on the schedule, but it’s important not to let your student’s schedule get too full. It could be a nice idea to sit down with your student and decide what events might be worth attending and some sessions that might be useful to check out. Decide on things that are of interest and some that you both know will be useful (even though it might not be as entertaining). We don’t want them to feel overwhelmed with all the sessions and events going on, so attending a few of these O-Week activities will make sure students are comfortable in their new setting.
With the events, comes all the societies and groups on the sidelines heckling at students to come and join. Lots of societies and clubs lined up all against each other can be daunting, but there’s nothing wrong with joining the hecklers! Becoming part of a club or university society can be a great way to make friends and maintain a social life going to the events and meetings. Browsing all the clubs and societies first is a good way to narrow down the choice between the variety of things each club has to offer.
One of the more boring parts, but maybe the most essential is sorting out the admin stuff. It’s easy to get lost in the thrill of all the events and sights going on all over campus, but students may need a reminder that they are starting University and classes are right around the corner. In between an information session or an event, encourage students to pop down to their student services centre and get their student ID and all the paperwork sorted.
With everything that O-Week has to offer, students will feel comfortable to embrace their new educational journey. Guided campus tours might help with directions, joining a club might create a whole new social life and information sessions and events might even help with the first day jitters. Whether your student participates in one or twelve O-Week events, it’s guaranteed to ease the step into tertiary education.